Climate Challenge Initiative to lower footprints
in the South Asian Communities Edinburgh


Nari Kallyan Shangho (NKS) is a health and welfare project for South Asian (Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi) women and their families living in Edinburgh. NKS provides services for from pre-school children to older people. NKS has a fulltime Nursery, After School/Homework Club (ASHC), English as a Second language classes, childcare training, other relevant training and a variety of different groups run every day at the premises.

The idea for the NKS Climate Challenge Initiative (NKS CCI) project came out of the consultation that was done under the development programme from Keep Scotland Beautiful. The women that were consulted expressed a huge interest in the project. They expressed their interest in waste recycling, food growing and energy efficiency. Since the consultation some women have shown interest in learning how to ride a bicycle.

The main aims

• To increase awareness of climate change and its global affect amongst women and their families.
• To reduce carbon emissions through changed behaviour and lifestyles.
• To adjust to climate change by taking informed actions from what they learn.
• To teach women and children how to grow food and flowers.
• To reduce food waste sent to landfill by learning how to compost and to recycle cooked food.
• To encourage women and their families to recycle general waste to reduce their carbon footprint.
• To empower women on a one-to-one basis, through information and advice on energy efficiency.
• To provide training and volunteering opportunities to women in the South Asian communities to assist in addressing climate challenge issues.
• To help reduce fuel consumption by forming a cycling group.
• To encourage women to take back home the learnt strategies and educate and engage family members to help with reducing household carbon foot prints.

How is NKS CCI going to achieve these aims?

• Educational workshops and outings.
• To teach women and children how to reduce, recycle and reuse things that they would normally throw out.
• To involve women and children in food growing sessions on allotments and in gardens.
• To involve women, Nursery and ASHC children in creating a community garden space at NKS premises and to maintain it.
• To involve women and children in cookery sessions where they will cook what they have grown.
• Energy efficiency awareness will be delivered.
• Encourage women to learn how to cycle and to get involved in regular cycling.

Who will NKS CCI work with to achieve these aims?

• South Asian Community
• NKS Project Users
• Belles on Bikes
• Change Works
• Home Energy Scotland
• Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
• The Grove Fountainbridge Community Garden

What you can do to reduce your carbon footprint

• Buy locally grown foods
• Grow your own fruits, vegetables and flowers
• Reduce, reuse and recycle
• Reduce packaging
• Cycle instead of driving
• Drive eco-friendly
• Insulate and draught proof your home
• Monitor energy use to see how much you can save


As part of the project NKS wanted to encourage the users to reduce their carbon footprint and use their cars less for short journeys, such as going down to the local shops. NKS has encouraged the users to learn how to cycle in their groups. They have progressed well and are really enjoying cycling regularly around Edinburgh. They also learn how to keep themselves safe out on the roads and also how to maintain their bicycles. It is hoped that more and more people will take up cycling as a mode of transport and also for regular exercise.


As part of the project NKS has organised regular workshops for all of the users. More workshops will take place during the rest of the project.
• Energy efficiency workshops have been organised where the users were informed about why they should try to save energy and how much energy they could save and that this in turn will save them money. Energy monitors were fitted for one month and the results were compared and analysed to look at energy savings. The monitors are being fitted in more homes as this has been very popular.
• FuelGood instructors analysed user’s driving skills and then advised them on what changes to make in order to save fuel, which in turn will save them money.
• Waste reduction workshops took place to inform users how to shop smartly, plan their meals and reuse leftover foods.
• Sewing workshops took place where users were encouraged to mend and make do and also to use leftover unwanted materials to create useful items such as runners and shopping bags.
• Recycling workshops taught the users the importance of recycling and all about the different things that they could recycle and where they could recycle. The groups have been to visit the local recycling centres to find out what goes on there. These visits were really interesting.

Open Days

Open days took place in 2014 and 2015 where people came and found out about the project and all of the different aspects of climate change. Stalls included: gardening; cycling; bicycle maintenance; energy efficiency; waste reduction and using leftover foods. The open days went down very well and raised awareness about climate change. People came and found out about what they could do to help the environment and how to save money in the process.


As part of the project NKS wanted to encourage the users to reduce their carbon footprint by taking up gardening and grow their own organic vegetables and fruits and also flowers. In order to do this NKS got in touch with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) and The Grove Fountainbridge Community Garden to secure some land for the duration of the project. The RBGE gave NKS two small plots of land where the users could take it turns to go and grow their own vegetables etc. The Grove Garden is near NKS and again users take it in turns to go and grow their own vegetables etc. NKS staff and users created a lovely garden next to the newly refurbished office. Plants and flowers were planted here. A bottle garden was created here and composting bins were placed here too. NKS users look after all three of these gardens. They prepare the soil, plant the seeds, look after the plants and harvest the results. This has encouraged some of the users to grow things at home.

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